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Compiled by Mrs. Ernest H. Wood, Hew Bern, N. C. 

North. Carolina Society of the 
Descendants of the Palatines 

The Reverend John LaPierre 

First Minister of the Church of England to Serve 
Church in New Bern and the Several Chapels in the Parish. 

The Sever end John LaPierre was ordained by the Bishop of 
London in 1707. "In Queen Anne's Reign, 1708," he was sent to 
South and North Carolina to officiate as minister of the Church 
of England under the Royal and Episcopal Protections. For 
twenty years he served a French parish named St. Dennis and 
assisted an English parish called St. Thomas. In 1728, he was 
sent to Cape Fear (New Hanover) "to settle the divine service 
where it had never been," becoming the first minister there, 
and founding St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Brunswick, and St. 
James's Episcopal Church, Wilmington. (See: Colonial Records 
of North Carolina, Saunders. Vol. 3, pages 342, 623-5, 391-2, 
529-530. Vol. 4, pages 1024, 375, 404, 915. Vol. 5, page 307. 
"Chronicles of the Cape Fear River 1660-1916," by James 3prunt. 
Published by Edwards and Broughton Printing Company, Raleigh, 
1916. Page 605. ) 

In Chronicles of the Cape Fear River 1660 -1916, Mr. Sprunt 

"The early history of St. James's parish in the town of 
Wilmington, is very closely interwoven with the history of the 
town itself. The settlement of the colony by English subjects 
established the ecclesiastical law of England as the law of the 

Church in the colony. The Bishop of London was made the dio- 
cesan of the colony, and the province of North Carolina became 
thereby a part of the See of London. 

"Little attention seems to have been given the religious 
needs of the colonists by the Church in England until the incor- 
poration of The Venerable Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel in Foreign Parts in 1701. 

"It is in the records of the Venerable Society that we 
find the first official notice of St. James's parish. In 1736, 
the society records note that 'Mr. Marsden had a settlement in 
the parish, and being a clergyman of the Church of England, had 
officiated there for several years past. ' We know, however, 
from local sources, that thirty years prior to this entry the 
whole province had been divided into twelve parishes, and several 
laws passed by the colonial Legislature for the support of re- 
ligion. We also learn from the same sources that the parish of 
St. James was organized in the year 1730, and that' in 1729 the 
Rev. John LaPierre, a French Huguenot, who had been ordained by 
the Bishop of London in 1708, and for many years had served a 
congregation of his own people in South Carolina, called 'St. 
Dennis's parish,' came into the Cape Fear region, and served 
St. James's and St. Philip's, Brunswick, until about the year 
1735. Mr. Marsden served only about one year, when his appoint- 
ment as missionary was withdrawn by the Venerable Society, and 
Mr. Moir was made missionary to the parish." 


In his letters to the Bishop of London, LaPierre relates 
something of his hardships on the Cape Fear, due to friction 
between Governor Burrington and the people over the established 
church and a tax for the payment of a minister. The people 
resented a tax for the support of the Church of England and 
refused to pay the minister. LaPierre also tells of troubles 
caused by a minister named Marsden, who offered to officiate 
in the parish gratis and at the same time carried on the 
activities of a "public merchant and traffikant since his late 
voyage to Lisbon in Portugal, and follows it daily amongst us 
and thinks it no way inconsistent with the Sacred Orders." It 
is interesting to note that Mr. Marsden served the Cape Fear 
settlement about one year, 1736, when his appointment as mis- 
sionary was withdrawn by the Tenerable Society. 

In 1734, LaPierre extended his operations northward to a 
new colony called New River "consisting of above 100 families 
and a vast number of children to be instructed." Prior to 1737 
he located in New Bern and resided in the city until his death 
in 1755. He was paid from the public funds by the General 
Assembly at intervals from 1738 to 1755. On a number of occa- 
sions he was paid from the public funds for sermons preached 
before the General Assembly at its Sessions in New Bern. 

In Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 4, pages 
263-265, is found a letter written by Alexander Garden, 


commissary of South Carolina and Forth Carolina, to the Bishop 

of London: The following is an excerpt from that letter: 

"So. Carolina, Chariest own 
Sept. 6, 1737 

My Lord (Bishop of London) 

The Governor & Council of that Colony (Forth Carolina) 

have it much at heart to obtain a Legal Establishment of a com- 
petent maintenance for the Clergy; but the unhappy discord, sub- 
sisting twixt them & the commons House of Assembly, about civil 
concerns, has hitherto obstructed it, meantime they think that 
the pension of f80 per ann allowed Boyd, by the Honorable Society, 
would be applied to the best advantage, if f25 a piece were 
given to the two Clergymen at Bath Town & New Berne, who are in 
great poverty; & the remaining f30 to some sober clergyman to 
be sent over to Bladen Precinct where the Governor is settled, 
& where he assures me his neighborhood are well disposed to join 
with him for making up a handsome maintenance. 

A. Garden" 
In the Minutes of the General Assembly held in Few Bern in 
1738, (Yol, 4, pages 357, 375, of Colonial Records of North 
Carolina) is found the statement: "There are in this province 
but two places where divine service is regularly performed." 
At the same meeting of the General Assembly f50 was paid to the 
Reverend John LaPierre. 

In 1740 an act was passed by the Legislature for building 
an Episcopal church in New Bern. By an act of 1741, it is 
learned that the vestry had laid a tax to support a minister 
and that Craven County was made a parish, with the name of 
"Christ Church Parish." Prior to that time the parish was 
called "Craven Parish." 

The last mention made of LaPierre in Colonial Records of 
North Carolina is in the Minutes of the General Assembly, Jan- 
uary, 1755, (Vol. 5, page 307) and reads: 

"To the Rev. James Reed chaplain flO 
To the Rev. John LaPierre fEO" 

Before 1755 the Reverend John LaPierre, having served the 
Church of England in America for forty-eight years, was an old 
man, since he came to South Carolina in 1707. (Colonial Records 
of North Carolina, Vol. 3, page 624). It is highly probable 
that he was no longer able to carry out the duties of the parish, 
which included not only the work of the church in New Bern but 
that of the several chapels in the parish. In the latter part 
of 1753, in answer to an appeal from the church wardens and ves- 
try of Christ Church Parish, the Reverend James Reed came to 
New flern direct from England and served the church in New Bern 
and the several chapels in the parish until his death in 1777. 

The Reverend John LaPierre, Huguenot pioneer of education, 
religion, and civilization, was the first minister of the Church 

of England, to teach, preach, and perform the duties of the church 
in New Bern and its vicinity, which he did for nearly twenty years. 


On coming to America in 1707, he served a parish of his own 
people in South Carolina for the space of twenty years until 
the old settlers were dead and the young people had learned 
the English tongue; he was then sent by the commissary of South 
and North Carolina to the Cape Fear region where there had been 
no minister before; he extended his work to New River in 1734; 
he came to Hew Bern about 1735 and lived in the city until his 
death in 1755. 

It is said that the first Episcopal church in New Bern, 
thought to have been completed about 1750, was very similar to 
the Episcopal Church still standing at Georgetown, South Carolina, 
built about the same time. 

One of the chapels in Christ Church Parish was located 
at Newport in what is now Carteret County, and another was 
located on Trent River in what is now Jones County. 

Office of Register of Deeds, Graven County, North Caro- 
lina. Deed Book 1, page 417. (1740) 

Whereas we, the subscribers, have agreed and concluded 
to build one house of worship, or chapel, on Trent River in 
Graven County in the Province of North Carolina out of one 
flock of cattle which a certain person hath willed and given 
for the same use and purpose for the use of the Palatines or 
Germans. Now we, the subscribers hereof, have chosen and 
elected Mr. Jacob Sheets, John Simons, John Kinsey, and 
Peter Remm for to build the same church, or chapel, for the 
use of the High Germans and the Church of England and the 
same chapel is to be built on the south side of Trent River 
between the ferry and John Kinsey' s plantation, and the same 
chapel is to be 30 feet long and 20 feet wide and IE feet high; 
and furthermore we, the subscribers hereof, do give unto the 
above Jacob Sheets, John Simons, Peter Remm, and John Kinsey 
full power and authority to build the same chapel, or church, 
as they shall see fit and convenient to build or cause to be 
built, and the name or title of the same church, or chapel, 
is to be called The Palatine Church, or The High German Chapel, 
as witness our hands, this second day of August, Anno Domo, 1740, 

John Simons 
Jacob Sheets 
Win. Irank 
Christian Slobboch 
George Snyder 
Jno. Let chez Miller 
Peter Andrews 
John Kinsey 
Michael Pickel 
Christian Slobboch, 

Christopher ? 

Jacob Rezenover 
Mat hew Rezenover 


Jacob Fulch 
Richard Remer 
John Remer 
Dave Fulch 

Alexr. Steel (Steel) 
Michael Remm 
John Peter Remm 
Yinet . Ameat 
George Coons 
George Connequar 
Jacob Pack 
William Baren 

Excerpts from letters 

"Mr. Burrington to The Bishop of London. 

No. Carolina, May 10, 1732. 

My Lord: 

Mr. LaPierre, a French Clergyman, has an 

allowance from some people at Cape Fear in this Govm which is 
renewed; when I wrote the former letter was told he had quit 
that place, but after was certainly informed he had agreed to 
stay another year. Dr. Marsden officiates Gratis, at a place 
called Onslow forty miles from his own habitation & a clergy- 
man beneficed in Virginia preaches once a month in a precinct 
named Bertie on the borders of this country, this is, my Lord, 
the condition we are at present in in regard to ministers 

Geo. Burrington" 
(Colonial Records of North Carolina. Vol. 3, page 342.) 

■ "*S I ^ 


Excerpts from letters 

"Mr. LaPierre To The Bishop Of London. 

• Cape Fear, Alias New Hanover 
Nov. 29, 1732 

My Lord: 

As I am one who, in Queen Anne's Reign, 1708, was by your 
Lordship's most worthy predecessor sent to South and North 
Carolina to officiate in both at several times as minister of 
the Church of England under the Royal and Episcopal Protections, 
having for the full space of twenty years, shared my office 
between a French Parish named St. Dennis and an English Parish 
called St. Thomas under the Reverend Mr. Hazell, the Rector of 
same, I was at last called from this former Province to the 
next adjacent country named Cape Fear, or New Hanover, belong- 
ing to North Carolina where I have been already four years 
following my functions 

John LaPierre" 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina. Vol. 3. Pages 391-2.) 

Excerpts from letters 

"Mr. LaPierre To The Bishop Of London. 

New Brunswick In Cape Fear 
Alias Cape Fear 
Oct. 15, 1733 

My Lord: 

As I had the honor to have been ordained by your Lordship's 
predecessor in the year 1707, who recommended me to the Governor 
of South Carolina, Sir Nath Johnston, to entitle me to a parish 
called St. Dennis in a French Colony which I was to serve till 
the death of the old settlers who did not understand the English 
tongue in which they were born, I became an assistant to the Rev. 
Mr. Hazel in the Parish of St. Thomas near to my parish, hoping 
of the two nations to make but one and the same people tho' they 
were a distinct parish indifferently followed the English people 
and the French as well acquainted with both languages; and then 
seeing that ministerial functions were not essentially required 
from a French minister and hearing besides that in a province 
of North Carolina called Cape Fear, alias New Hanover, they 
wanted a minister, the inhabitants of that place sent for me and 
the Rev. Mr. Garden, your Lordship's Commissary, in concurrence 
with the rest of the Clergy did actually consent that I should 
go and settle the divine service where it had never been 

John LaPierre." 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina. Vol. 3. Pages 529-530.) 


Excerpts from letters 

"Mr. LaPierre To The Bishop Of London 

Hew Hanover, Alias Cape Fear In North Carolina 
April 23, 1734 

% Lord: 

I had the honor in my last to inform your Lordship about the 

present state of Cape Fear both civil and Ecclesiastical. I was 
the first Minister of the Church of England that came to these 
places to preach which I did during the three years and a half 

I went farther northward to a new colony 

called New River consisting of above one hundred families, all of 
poor people but very desirous to have the holy worship set up 
amongst them, Gov. Burrington and one Mr. John Williams being the 
first encouragers. It is a thriving place and likely in a few 
years to become a flourishing parish. There is a vast number of 
children among them to be instructed and if this place falls to 
my lot I shall make bold, my Lord, to send you a larger and more 
satisfactory account both of Cape Fear and that new place 

John LaPierre." 
(Colonial Records of North Carolina. vol. 3. Pages 623-5.) 

The Reverend George Whitefield arrived in Few Bern on 
Christmas Eve. 1739. He received the sacrament from the Rev- 
erend John LaPierre and preached on Christmas day in the Court 
House. He was grieved that the minister encouraged dancing. 
(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Saunders. Vol. 4, 
page 404. ) General Assembly held in Hew Bern, 1738. "This 
House having resolved that 50 pounds be given to The Rev. John 
LaPierre, desire your Honors' concurrence." 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Saunders, Vol. 4, 
page 375. ) General Assembly held in New Bern, 1739. "This 
House having resolved that 50 pounds be given to The Rev. Mr. 
John LaPierre, Desire your Concurrence. To which the House 
Concurred. " 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Saunders, Yol. 4, 
page 915. ) General Assembly in New Bern, March 1748. Legis- 
lative Journal. "We also propose that the sum of 5 pounds, 
for Mr. LaPierre' s Sermons before the General Assembly may be 
increased to the sum of 10 pounds. * 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Saunders, Vol. 4, 
page 1024. ) General Assembly held in New Bern, October, 1749. 
"Resolved that The Rev. Mr. John LaPierre be paid, out of the 
Public Treasury, the sum of Four pounds Proclamation Money, for 
his several sermons preached before the General Assembly this 
Session. " 

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Saunders, Vol. 5, 
page 307.) Saturday, Jan. 11, 1755. Meeting of General Assembly 
in New Bern. "Paid to The Rev. John LaPierre f20." 


Office of Register of Deeds, Craven County. Deed Book 1, 
page 320. 1740. John Fonville to John LaPierre: 360 acres 
lying in Craven County on South side of Neuse River and on 
South side of Batchelder's Creek. 

Office of Register of Deeds, Craven County. Deed Book 11, 
page 122. William Norwood to John LaPierre, minister of the 
Gospel, one lot containing l/2 of an acre of land known in the 
Town of Newbern by the No., 357, on Jones Street. 

Office of Register of Deeds of Craven County, New Bern, 
North Carolina: 

Deed Book 1, page 414. (1740) 

North Carolina. Know all men by these presents that I, 
John LaPierre, of Craven County and Province aforesaid, Clergy- 
man, for certain good reasons and considerations me heretofore 
moving have transferred, conveyed and freely set over as my deed 
of gift, and by these presents do transfer, convey and freely 
set over unto Benjamin Fordham, my son-in-law, in the county 
and province aforesaid, planter, and to Martha, his wife, my 
daughter, one hundred acres of land being part of the 360 I had 
of Mr. John Fonville, Jnr. , for the like quantity of my lands 
delivered to him in Cape Fear, the which 100 acres of land 
lying situate upon Neuse (Jeadal) a place called Batchelder's 
Creek, to be admeasured, which said 100 acres of land upon the 
left hand of the bridge towards New Bern going to meet 


Col. Wilson's marked tree and so turning to my part of my land to 
make up his compliments toward the land remaining in the posses- 
sion of the said John Fonville, and the said Fordham' s house and 
present improvements both to be comprehended in the said 100 
acres of land. To have and to hold the said 100 acres of land 
Unto the said Benjamin Fordham and to Martha, his wife, and their 
heirs forever as a free deed of gift, the quit rents accepted 
in due proportion by the said John LaPierre, who for himself and 
his heirs doth promise to warrant and defend the said premises 
unto the said Benjamin Fordham and Martha, his wife, and their 
heirs against any person or persons laying claim thereunto so 
that they may be free from all molestation in all peaceful en- 
joyment, in witness whereof the said John hath hereunto set his 
hand and seal this 16th day of December, 1740. 

John LaPierre (Seal) 

In the presence of us: 
Charles Adams 
C. Routledge 


Benjamin Fordham 

Benjamin Fordham, of Craven, county, North Carolina, married 
Martha LaPierre, daughter of the Reverend John LaPierre. Martha 
LaPierre Fordham died after 1754, as she signed a deed for trans- 
fer of land in that year. The records indicate that he was 
married a second time and that his second wife was Alice 

From the Colonial and State Records of North Carolina we 
find that Benjamin Fordham was an officer in the North Carolina 
House of Assembly, principally in the capacity of Mace Bearer and 
Sergeant at Arms from 1746 to 1775. 

An old manuscript list in the Hall of History at Raleigh, 
North Carolina, shows that Benjamin Fordom of Craven County, 
New Bern Town, was a gentleman soldier in 1753. 

Benjamin Fordham, Jr. 

Benjamin Fordham, Jr., son of Benjamin Fordham and Martha 
LaPierre Fordham, was born in Craven County, North Carolina, 
November 27, 1743. (Bible Record) 

(1785. Will of Benjamin Fordham of Craven County. Land 
in Craven County left to his son, Benjamin Fordham, Jr., of 
Jones County. ) 

Office of Register of Deeds of Craven County, New Bern, N. C. 

Deed Book 26, page 233. (1785) Benjamin Fordham, of the 
County of Jones in the State of North Carolina, of the one part, 
and Leven Dixon, of County of Craven in the State aforesaid of 
the other part whence Benjamin Fordham, deceased, late of the 
County of Craven in the State of North Carolina, did and by his 


last will and testament duly execute, give, and bequeath two 
tracts of land with their appurtenances to his son, Benjamin 

Fordham and his heirs and assigns forever, now this indenture 

witnesseth that the said Benjamin for and in consideration of the 
sum of 100 dollars by specie to him in hand paid, doth grant, 
bargain, and sell unto the said Leven Dickson pieces of land in 
Craven County beginning at an oak in William Heritage line on 
east side of Jemmy Creek branch 

Benjamin Fordham 
Mary Fordham 

Benjamin Fordham, Jr., lived on Trent River in Jones county, 
and his land bordered on Joshua* s Creek also on Great Chinquepin 
Creek. A large dogwood tree on one corner of his plantation 
served as a marker between his land and that of Howell Brown. 
Other plantations that touched his boundary lines were those 
of .fimos Simmons, Frederick Hargett, and Peter Rhemm. Because 
of the shifting of boundary lines, his home was for a short time 
in Lenoir county. 

In Wheeler's Historical Sketches of North Carolina it is 
stated that in 1798 Benjamin Fordham was a member of the North 
Carolina House of Commons from Lenoir County; and in 1795, 1796, 
1799, 1802, 1803, and 1804 he was a member from Jones county. 
Jones County was formed from Craven in 1779. 

Reference to Revolutionary Army Accounts, Historical 
Commission, Raleigh, North Carolina, reveals that Benjamin 
Fordham of Jones County, received various items of remuneration 
for Revolutionary War service. The following is a copy of a 
voucher, the original of which is in the Hall of History at 
Raleigh, viz: 

North Carolina ) 
New Bern District. ) 

No. 55 

This may certify that BENJAMIN FORDHAM 
of Jones County, was allowed the sum of 
Six Hundred Pounds, sundries, (blot)nt and 
Vouchers rendered a (blot) 5th day of (blot) 
one thousand seven hun(blot )ghty one. 

Benj. Whitaker 

Samuel Chapman ) 
John Hawkes ) 
James Coor ) 

D. AUG. 


Benjamin. Fordham, Jr., married Mary . From the 

family Bible, carried to Georgia in 1812 by his son, Benjamin 
Fordham, 111, are taken the names and dates of birth of his 
children. There were twelve children, viz: 

A. Elizabeth Fordham 

B. Tena Fordham 

C. John Fordham 

D. Mary Fordham 

E. Ann Fordham 

F. Leah Fordham 

G. Susanna Fordham 
H. Martha Fordham 

I. Benjamin Fordham, 

J. Alcy Fordham 

K. Caty Fordham 

L. William Fordham 


A. Elizabeth Fordham, the eldest child, was born January 10, 

1767. She married a Mr. Small. 

B. Tena Fordham, the second child, was born December 7, 

1768. Her first husband was named Blackshear and her second Williams. 

C. John Fordham, was the third child and eldest son of 
Benjamin Fordham, Jr. He was born February £6, 1771, and died 
in Jones county, North Carolina, December 7, 1845. He was thrice 
married, first, to Catharine Koonce on April 18, 1799; second to 
Nancy Miller on February 13, 1816; third, to Nancy Lavender, of 
Dutch descent, on March 18, 1819. Nancy Lavender Fordham was born 
April 24, 1797, died in 1872. 

Nancy Miller Fordham, second wife of John Fordham, died 
in travail about twelve months after marriage leaving no offspring. 

John Fordham' s home was on Joshua's Creek. One tract of his 
land extengded from the Stanly (owned later by Whitakers) land in 
Chinquepin Township to the Kinsey land near Pleasant Hill Church. 

The last will and testament of John Fordham was dated July 
11, 1844, and probated at the December term 1845, and registered in 
the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of Jones County, 
North Carolina, in Will Book "B", on page 175. In it he mentions 
six daughters and nine sons: 





1. Leah Noble 

2. Penelope Brown 

3 . Mary Gooding 

4. Eleanor Koonce 

5. William G. Fordham 

6. Christopher Fordham 

7. Ivey Fordham 

8. Ira Fordham 

9. Jesse Fordham 

10. Athalia Fordham 

11. Jackson Fordham 

12. Nancy Fordham 

13. Calvin Fordham 

14. Lewis Fordham 

15. David Fordha. 



D. The fourth child and third daughter of Benjamin Ford- 
ham, Jr., was Mary Fordham, born March 8, 1773, and died 
December 1, 1816. She married John Stanley on December 20, 1797. 
He was a son of James Stanley, Sr. , and his wife Winnifred. 

E. The fifth child and fourth daughter of Benjamin 
Fordham, Jr., was Ann Fordham who was born January 2, 1775. 
She married Underwood. 

F. The sixth child and fifth daughter of Benjamin Fordham, Jr., 
was Leah Fordham. She was born September 6, 1776 and died March 9, 
1853. She married James Stanley, Jr. , a brother of John Stanley 

who married her sister Mary Fordham. She moved with her husband 
to Georgia about 1810 or 1811. 

G. Susanna Fordham was the seventh child and sixth daughter 
of Benjamin Fordham, Jr. She was born March 31, 1779. 

H. Martha Fordham was the eighth child and seventh daughter 
of Benjamin Fordham, Jr., she was born February 17, 1782. She 
was twice married; first, to John Koonce and second to Stephen 

Mr. J. C. Stanley of East Point, Georgia, and Judge Ira 
Stanley Chappell were engaged in writing a family history when 
Judge Chappell died. The book will probably be published some- 
time and will include Georgia descendants of John LaPierre and 
Benjamin Fordham.